Friend Before Salesman: Steve the Local Printer

Black and white image of steve holding a yellow hat
Click here to go to Steve’s company profile

The past few weeks have been filled with Steve’s background and life full of amazing adventures (somehow all print related). To see the previous blog post, click here.

The Local Printer
Again, Steve could not resist the calling of the print business, and he was soon back in San Fransisco working at various print shops. He met his wife there, and moved to Berkley to be near her. They considered raising their family in Nevada City, and at the time, there was already a print shop in business in western Nevada County. Also there were no decent jobs for his wife, a nurse. So they bided their time and when they made the move in 1988, the existing print shop had liquidated their assets and moved on. His wife got some double shifts “down the hill” that more than offset their costs and Steve started his own print shop, Northstar Printing, just like he always wanted to do. He knew print like the back of his hand and forged some really solid customer relationships in the area. In 1994 his dear wife passed away due to cancer and he carried on with his work, managing for some time. Eventually, the print industry started to change dramatically and shifted toward digital technology. With this shift came machines that were four times as expensive as the machines he was using. Working with outdated machines at his business size simply was not a way to make enough money to purchase new ones. Only the larger companies survived because they were able to cut their prices while still buying this new technology.

Prices go down with each recession and they have not gone up again due to changes in technology. The 1980’s through 90’s were the best years for print. Steve realized he would have to close up shop and began to search for a printer who would be in business longer, and where he could take his clients that he cared for so much. He did not want to leave them stranded without a local printer. When he came across APi-marketing (then Auburn Printers) in 2007, he called them up and explained his situation and what he wanted to do. Brad and Merrill immediately recognized the importance of having him as a resource and offered him a job. He was pretty happy to still be in contact with his clients and use his knowledge of print in a stable environment.

Really, he could be retired by now, but chooses to keep working in the industry that he is passionate about. Being a business owner has also helped him understand and connect with new clients.

Join us again for the next installment of “Friend Before Salesman” in which we take a look at all the ways Steve has been saving his clients from headaches by offering expert and creative solutions to their problems. To see the next installment click here.

Want to work with Steve? Just give us a call and we can set you up: 530.885.9674.

Published by

Danielle Apple

Danielle is head of our graphic design department. A self-proclaimed "sponge," she is addicted to learning about marketing and to eating chocolate.